U.S. SENATE — Today, the U.S. Senate passed Senator Steve Daines’ bill, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which eliminates federal liability protections for websites that knowingly assist, support or facilitate online sex trafficking. It also allows state Attorneys General to prosecute websites that violate federal sex trafficking laws. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“In the era of technology, sex traffickers commit unthinkable crimes just by turning their phone on,” said Daines. “With the passage of this bill, we will crackdown on criminals who are trafficking children and better protect our communities.”
The Senate voted on the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which includes Daines’ bill, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act.
Trafficking by the Numbers:
- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reported an 846 percent increase in reports of suspected child sex trafficking from 2010 to 2015.
- According to 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates, there are an estimated 57,700 people in modern slavery in the U.S.
- According to the Division of Criminal Investigation, the number of juvenile human trafficking victims rescued in Montana between 2015 and 2016 increased by 400 percent.
Statement of Support:
“Individuals who engage in child sex trafficking are typically very adept at using technology to recruit and exploit their victims. The migratory nature of this crime has been underscored by the lack of federal laws necessary to enable investigators and prosecutors to bring online child sex traffickers to justice. I thank Senator Daines for co-sponsoring this bill, which will give states more power to prosecute online sex traffickers and protect children across the country.” – Montana Attorney General Tim Fox
On January 11, 2018, Daines recognized National Human Trafficking Awareness Day by sponsoring the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and speaking on the Senate floor.